Reading Moonlight, reading the other

Keven James Rudrow, Amanda Nell Edgar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article brings a quare perspective to Moonlight’s reception. We argue that many straight viewers identified the film’s representational innovations but resisted its call to interrogate their preconceived notions about Black queerness. Instead, many audiences focused on others’ interpretations of the film. They perceived Black viewers as homophobic, demonstrating third-person effect, and used that stance to demonstrate their own progressive politics. In addition to documenting Moonlight’s reception, this study demonstrates how reading a text through the imagined reception of other viewers can shift focus from connecting with the material conditions of marginalization to proving one’s own progressive bona fides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-287
Number of pages18
JournalCommunication and Critical/ Cultural Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • Black audiences
  • Intersectionality
  • Moonlight
  • Quare theory
  • Reception studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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